Change The World Wednesday – Lemons


This past week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge was:

This week make a conscious effort to waste no food. If you need some ideas on how to accomplish this, please read the article referenced in the previous paragraph.
I really try to do this on a regular basis, but it doesn’t always happen.  Reduce Footprints had a related challenge a few months back.  The challenge was to use up whatever food you have before buying anything more.  I made some really great meals out of my leftovers.  In order to reduce your food waste, you really need to start upfront – planning before you go buy food.  For me this means making a menu for the week and looking ahead at what will be leftover and what I can do with them.
When I started thinking about this challenge, I saw it in in a different light than the first challenge.  Let’s see if I can use parts of food that I would normally compost or throw out.  I found so many things that Americans (especially) throw out that could be used.  Too many for one post!  So this post will concentrate on uses for lemons, especially the peels which are often composted or tossed out.  Don’t toss those lemon peels – or any other citrus peel.
Citrus zest/peel (the colorful part of the outside of citrus) has many health benefits and shouldn’t be tossed.  Before you squeeze your lemon, lime, or any other citrus, zest it.  The zest is great for you – high in antioxidants, killing cancer cells and inhibiting tumor growth.  It’s where the essential oils of the citrus are.
For Cleaning
  • Use to clean the microwave – Add lemon rinds to a bowl half filled with water and cook on high for 5 mins.  The steam created will loosen any crud making it easy to wipe away.
  • Freshen the Garbage disposal – Send spent lemons down the garbage disposal to freshen them.
  • Use to scrub greasy messes – Use a juiced lemon, add some salt if you need more of a scouring action – be careful with Granite or Marble.
  • Infused Vinegar – use the peels to infuse plain white distilled vinegar with lemons awesome scent and cleaning power.  Fill a glass jar with lemon peels then fill the jar with white vinegar.  Let this sit for 2 weeks.  Strain and use as a cleaner.
For Eating
  •  Make Limoncello – This is an Italian lemon flavored alcohol.  There are many recipes on the internet.  This would make a great gift.
  •  Make zest – You can zest a lemon, dry the zest on a towel then store in a jar.  You can also freeze the zest.  Use any where you would use fresh zest or lemon.
  • Make  Lemon Powder – Make the zest above, dry it thoroughly, then grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestal.  You can also peel the zest with a vegetable peeler and roast the peels lightly, then crush into a powder.  Use the powder anywhere you would lemon juice. 
  • Preserved lemons –  Preserved lemons are whole lemons preserved with salt.  Preserved lemons are used in many Moroccan dishes.  This can also be done with limes.
  •  Candied lemon peels – These sound really yummy!  They can be eaten like candy or used as a garnish.
  •  Lemon infused Olive Oil – Lemon infused oils are delicious and a great way to use lemon peels. 
  • Freeze the used halves, then use when roasting fish or chicken.  I always place lemons inside the cavity of a chicken.  It just gives such a good flavor.
For Beautifying
  • Make a sugar scrub – Mix 1/2 sugar with finely chopped lemon peel.  Add enough olive oil to make a paste.  Use in the shower as a body scrub to soften your skin.
  • Soften Elbows – Add some salt or baking soda to a lemon half.  Scrub elbows to soften.
There are so many more out there.  Next step for me is to set an up easy way for me to save the zest so I can try some of these.  

*Top picture used under Creative Commons by Mowie Kay/Flickr.

This post is part of Frugal Days Sustainable Ways.


6 Responses to Change The World Wednesday – Lemons

  1. Good Girl Gone Green November 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    LOVE your CTWW post! I try to remember to zest my lemons before using them so I can ge the maximum use out of them. Sometimes I forget. Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

  2. The Greening Of Westford December 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Thanks Good Girl! I don’t always zest either. Only if I am using the lemon in cooking. Writing this post has inspired me. I set up 2 containers – one for lemon zest and one for limes. Love limes!

  3. December 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Great list Kristina! I have never heard of limoncello! I really like to use lemons for cleaning. There is nothing like the lemon scent of a clean home!

  4. The Greening Of Westford January 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Hi Lori – I love the smell of lemons too! And the taste! I always have them in my house.

  5. Justine March 29, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    Stopping by from the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Wednesday Blog Hop!

  6. The Greening Of Westford March 29, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Hi Justine, Thanks for stopping by!

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